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One 'Hekk' of a cook: Off field hobbies with Johnny Hekker

Cooking is defined as the practice or skill of preparing food by combining, mixing and heating ingredients, while punting can be simply described as booting the ball to the other team on fourth down. Punting and cooking usually don't have much in common, but both are forms of art. The flash of the pan and the sizzling of the heat can both be described as beauty. Similarly, the punter's footwork, body motion and booming sound made when they punt off the ball can be considered art in motion.

Johnny Hekker is an artist both on and off the field. An undrafted free agent from Oregon, Hekker has turned into a four-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection. He has proven himself more than a few times on the football field, such as when he delivered the longest punt in Super Bowl history – a 65-yarder during Super Bowl LIII right down the field, and out of his own team's endzone.

Hekker has other hobbies outside of football, though. He is also an avid fan of The Cooking Channel and cooks whenever he can. Recently he sat down with Rams Insider Magazine and answered a few questions about his love for cooking:


Q: What's your favorite food to cook and your favorite person to cook for?

A: "Anything that my son will eat, but I love cooking for my wife. My wife is super smart, super nutritious, so she's always buying great items to cook with. She's always down to eat whatever I make. Usually, it will be something healthy, like vegetables, for my wife."

Q: Why do you like to cook?

A: "I like to cook because it's an art form because you can never make the same thing, exactly the same way. Cooking for people is fun and I get to put a little love into it. It's a fun hobby and it's kind of therapeutic to put stuff together and know what you are putting into your body at the same time, making informed decisions about what you're making on a nutrient level."

Q: How'd you get into cooking?

A: "I got into cooking because my older brother likes to cook. He was in college and cooking for himself a lot and I thought it was cool. He told me in college that you have to cook for yourself a lot. He cooked different cuisines from different things. I've always been a huge fan of The Cooking Channel and The Food Network."

Q: Favorite Show?

A: "If Chopped is on, I'm watching Chopped." 

Q: Favorite chef?

A: "Bucket list hangout is probably Bobby Flay."

Q: Do you cook regularly?

A: "So, we have an arrangement at home, whoever cooks doesn't clean up. That's another big proponent of why I like to cook. I cook, then my wife has to clean the dishes. It makes it fun and shows my son all the food we eat isn't coming from a restaurant. We can make fresh, fun stuff to eat right at home."

Q: If you had to cook one meal for the whole team, what would it be?

A: "I would have to make a lot of it, so it has to be simple. I make a pretty mean chicken noodle soup, so I'm going to go with that."

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